2012 Cleveland Marathon (Half)

As previously mentioned, my sister Angi and I had this idea of running a race together since she started running a few years back. The thing holding us back in the past was that she lives in Germany and I in the US. This made our idea a bit more difficult. But this year it worked out that she was in the US during the 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland (half) Marathon on May 20th, so I signed us up. Her employer, Tandano Faun (a Japanese crane manufacturer in Germany) offered to pay for the half marathon entry fee for both of us if we wore their running shirts…oh yeah, not a problem!

We had driven up the day before, staying about a half a mile from the start and finish line, which was by the Cleveland Browns football stadium. The temperature was about 65 degrees, with an expected high in the mid 80’s. Another hot race (Cap City half had been about the same)!

This was to be Angi’s 2nd half marathon and my 16th. We agreed that we would run together for a little bit and then separate if one of us picked up the pace. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do, considering we are both competitive and our PRs are about 15 minutes apart. I think we managed to run together for the first 1/2 mile and then I pulled away a bit. Unbeknownst to me, she kept up with me and passed me around mile 2! I kept her in my sight for the next three miles and passed her shortly after mile 5.

Around mile 7 I passed two runners from our local running club. I stopped and took their picture. Around mile 10 it started getting hot. I noticed that I had stopped sweating; not good – it’s a sign of dehydration. I slowed down my pace a bit and made sure I grabbed two water cups at the aid stations. The last two miles were really slow and there were a few runners that needed medical attention. There was not water at the last station! It was hot and running downtown provided no shade and no wind. Finally, I made it to the finish line! About 11 minutes later Angi made it too!

I am looking forward to running another one with her sometime in the near future either in the US or Germany. It is nice to share your hobby with your sister.

Looking forward, I am now contemplating on running the US Air Force Marathon half in Dayton in September. Maybe it won’t be as hot then, but with the current trend, it might even be hotter. We’ll see. (Edit: I just checked on the USAF Marathon, it’s sold out…going to look around for another one)

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My father in-law was not able to win the battle against lymphoma this time around and passed away peacefully with family by his side on May 10th. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for all family members, but we are dealing with it the best we can. He was always there for his kids, their spouses, and his grand & great grand kids. One of the many things I miss now that he’s gone, is him either being at the races or asking me about it and looking at the medal afterwards. He’ll always be in my heart. CANCER SUCKS! RIP, Roger!

Roger – Easter 2012

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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in 1/2 Marathon, Race Report, Running


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The way things are right now

It’s been a while…there is a reason, but more about that in a bit.

I ran my 15th half marathon last weekend. Humidity was 100% and the temperature at the time of the start 65 degrees. I was kinda hoping for a PR, after getting one in Athens (Ohio). But, I haven’t been running much lately, so after mile 2 I knew I could not keep up that pace and settled for just getting a medal.

The race was good, at one point we only had one lane to run in, which is fine, but with 13,000 runners, it was a bit cramped. The water stations were a mess. At one station I had to back track to get water because the next table was out.

There were a lot of runners at the end of the course (last 3 miles) being tended to by first aid personnel. The humidity must have gotten to them in one way or another. This made me glad that I threw the PR out the window. Even though I did get water at every water station, my right calf started to cramp up a little a half a mile before the finish.

NONETHELESS: The medal I received is huge (& heavy) and the day overall lots of fun.

In other news: My sister is flying in from Germany to visit next week (that’s were I am originally from). We are running the Cleveland Rock and Roll Marathon (HALF) together. Ever since she was bitten by the running bug, running a race together has been a conversation of ours. On the 20th it will come true. I. AM. EXCITED!

I am trying to keep my miles up, but lately is been tough finding the time. My father-in-law, who is very dear to me, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (he beat the cancer back 3 years ago) and has been in the hospital, most the time in ICU, for almost four weeks. There have been improvements in his condition and major set backs. So, basically our lives consists of going to work and then spending time at the hospital and helping my mother-in-law (who is also very dear to me) out. Running takes the back seat.

Oh, oh, oh, I bought a bike…I almost forgot! I road bike (bicycle…why do people assume a bike is a motorcycle *sigh*). I am now the proud owner of a Giant Avail 2 road bike.

Have I had to the chance to ride it? Yes!

How far? 3 miles! 😦 I am hoping to get on it this weekend a little.

Well, that’s the way things are right now, hoping for a positive change.


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2012 RunCbus 10 Miler

My hopes for the race was to run a faster per-mile-pace than the 1/2 in Athens:

I had been warned about the hills during the second half of the race. I was ready for that. BUT, during my training I have been taking in water every 2 miles if I went longer than 6. The 10 miler only had 3 waterstops, plus one impromptu one at mile 9-something.

Other than the water stops – let me regress here again: the first one at mile 3.14, second one at mile 5, last one at mile 6.89, plus the impromptu one (where they handed out bottles of water) – I am not complaining. The course was challanging with a visible steady incline from mile 8.5 to 9.5. I checked my Garmin and the elevation changed 130 ft in that mile. The Gamin actually showed an incline from 7.5 to 9.5 but I didn’t really notice it until 8.5. I managed to hold on to an 11 min/mile pace from mile 8 to 9 and then ran a sub 10 the last mile.

The great thing about the race was that my daughter and her boyfriend watched me run. It was nice having them there; it was a special treat. 🙂 The other great thing was the nice New Balance jacket I received for signing up. 🙂 (No medal at the finish line though; can’t have it all)

To make a long story short: My overall mile pace during the Athens’ half was 10:26; it was 10:23 for the 10 miler. Mission accomplished!

Three more weeks until the Capital City Half Marathon!

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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in 10, Race Report, Run, Running


PR! – Athens Half Marathon April 1, 2012

I entered the race just for fun, to be with friends who love to run like I do (most of them a bit faster than I am). Turns out the stars were alligned just right and a PR was bound to happen.

The hubby drove to Athens (Ohio) with me to cheer me on. That doesn’ t happen to often and I was glad to have him a long. Race packet pick up was prior to the race about a 1/2 mile from the starting line. The place where we picked up the packet was also the finish line. With the packet picked up and bib attached we were off to the starting line, walking through the beautiful Ohio University campus.

Starting Line

Starting Line

The course, which is overall very flat, starts with a very steep downhill part. I was a bit worried about my knee and calf/achilles, after the experience in Mississippi and the following injuries I had. But my body held up! I ran into an old running buddy, Kelly, shortly after the start. She is much faster than I am, but just getting back into running after spitting out her second child. We ran together for a while. She was a tad bit too fast for me, and I dropped back…eventually I got into my stride and I caught back up to her. We, including a runner from West Virginia that Kelly had befriended, ran most of the second half of the race together.

Mile 5 - Kelly is a little behind me (in pink)

At the turn-around point it occurred to me that I could PR if I kept that pace up the second half. However, the first half of the race was on a slight decline, meaning the returning part would be at an incline. But with Kelly at my side, happily cheering me on and keeping my mind occupied with life stories, we were still going strong at mile 10.

The miles just went by so fast, but I did notice that we had slowed down just a little bit. Mile 13 however, made up for it, running my second fastest mile in that race.  We entered the stadium with about 600 yards to go. After the first 200 were behind us, we could see the clock, and Kelly said “You got this!”. She then shouted to our friends, who were waiting for us, “She is going to PR!” and they started cheering like crazy. So loud as a matter of fact that I could hear them all the way on the other side of the track!

Kelly: "Where did she go?"

Kelly high 5-ing while I am dying! 🙂

Kicking it in!

With about 100 yards to go, I kicked it in some more…don’t know where that came from, and I PRed by 32 seconds! What a great feeling!

Running Friends

Running Friends!

This was my easiest PR ever and so unexpected, it makes it twice as nice. Am I glad that I had signed up to spend the day with friends.

Me, Kelly, and the lady from West Virginia


Getting back into the grove…

It looks like my body has recuperated from all the pulls and tears that I have inflicted upon myself over the last few months. I was able to participate in the Arnold’s Classic Pump and Run (ran a 32 min 5k race and bench pressed 100 lbs 6 times) last week.  It wasn’t my best result, but I was glad to have been able to participate. I am looking forward to my 4th P&R medal next year!

Arnold's Classic Pump and Run medals: 2004, 2005, and 2012

My running game plan was to run 8 miles yesterday after we finished working on the Habitat for Humanity project. But after 7 hours of manual labor, we didn’t get home until 5:30pm and it was too late for me to get ready to run a long run. That was OK, because my body felt very beat up. The new game plan was to run 8 miles early today. Amazingly, the 8 turned into 10! It was slow, keeping my HR between 70 & 75 percent, but my body felt really good afterwards. Tired, but good. Next Saturday or Sunday I am shooting for 12 miles.

So, now I am toying with the idea of running a half marathon April 1st….

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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Long Run, Pump & Run, Running


Running group forming in Baltimore,OH!

I’m excited to formally announce that the group I currently run with, Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC), is going to offer a Fairfield County branch starting this summer! We will be meeting in Baltimore and can look forward to some great rural runs.

Regardless of what your running goals are, CERC can work with you to help you meet them. We are in the process of getting organized, so more details will follow, including a Facebook page. However, if you are at all interested or simply have any questions, please send an mail to, so that we can answer them and add you to our contact list.

Four great things about this group:

(1) CERC offers a free two-week period where you can come out and run with the group to try it out with no obligation.

(2) Membership in CERC’s Balitmore branch gives you access to runs with both the Baltimore and Bexley groups. Bored with your long run in Baltimore one Saturday? Mix it up and take a 30 min. drive further up 33 for a change of scenery and people!

(3) Schedules tailored to your training needs and access to our coach, who is Road Runners Club of America certified (and just pretty darn amazing!).

(4) We are a NON PROFIT! All proceeds from the group, after expenses, will stay local with Baltimore/Fairfield County charities.

Looking forward to sharing my experience with anyone who might be interested!

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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Running


Shhhh…can you keep a secret?

Come closer, I got something to tell you…Closer than that…..wooo-aah! Not THAT close! OK, OK…ready?

I RAN/WALKED THREE MILES TODAY and it was a pain free run!!!

It was slow, with some walking the first mile to warm up and test the leg, but overall it was great to know that I can still run 2 miles without walking. I was worried that I had lost ‘my base’ in the last month. All is well though.

On Friday I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical rider and experienced no pain. On Saturday the hubby and I donated our time (6 hours) and helped build walls for a Habitat for Humanities project. At the end of the day, the leg felt good. We were tired and sore, but I wasn’t hurting.

It took 39 minutes to cover the three miles, but it gives me confidence that I can do the Pump and Run (next Sunday) without them ushering me to the sidewalk before I cross the finish line.

My world is getting back in order!

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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Running



After three weeks of faithful physical therapy, I schlepped to the sports doctor today to hear that because of my setback, it will be another three to four weeks before I can go running again…what? wait a minute…what setback???

This is where I tell you that I pulled (partial tore) my left calf muscle pretty bad last Friday evening, while trying to stretch my quad muscle. Yep, while trying to stretch! Gotta love the irony in that! I didn’t realize what I had done to myself until a day later. At first I thought it was just a muscle ache from a hard workout during physical therapy, because other than the cramp like feeling I felt, there was no pain until the next morning. But when things didn’t improve Saturday evening, I started to realize it might be something else.

A trip to the urgent care Sunday, painkiller prescription, and a set of crutches later, my fears became reality. My sports doctor confirmed it today, but was suprised to see me getting along without the crutches…perhaps it’s not as bad as originally thought. No Pump and Run for me though, which is in less than two weeks. Perhaps now would be a good time to start training for next years, at least with the weights. :/ She is optimistic that I’ll be able to do the 10 mile race on April 15th, and should be good to go for the May 5th and May 20th half marathons.

So, no biking for at least a week and continued physical therapy are on the calendar for me for now. I am hoping that next Tuesday I can take a stab at the stationary bike again. Until then!


Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Running


Blessing in disguise? Just maybe!

The last week and a half have felt like three months! Not having to run at lunch time or try to get on the treadmill in the evenings has left a gaping hole in my life – I am not much of a TV watcher. Not running 30 to 40 miles per week also left me worried that the gaping hole would be filled with body fat/weight. To avoid that, I have been keeping an eye on what goes into my body and make sure that it is as healthy as can be. Beforehand, I pretty much shoved things into me thinking “I’ll just run that off later.”

The result of the reevaluation of my eating habits: lost 5 lbs and 1% of my body fat! I have adopted a pretty good stationary bike routine and also added a workout video to my daily grind. I am actually able to see my external abdominal oblique muscles pretty well when I tighten that tummy! The next goal is to see what kind of pack (hopefully a 6-pack) I have lined up between those oblique muscles. My bench press also has increased; I am able to press 100 lbs 5 times now.

Physical therapy is going well. It brought to light that my left leg is shorter than the right. I always kinda knew it, but never had been officially told. The therapist also mentioned that my hip is pulling to the left, shortening the leg even more. With some exercises, he was able to put the hip back (manipulated muscles to pull it back into place – temporarily), and then fitted me with a 1/8-inch heel lift. I was walking pretty straight (instead of like a line backer). Hopefully with the exercise he gave me for home, I’ll be able to keep it that way. My achilles is still sore on and off; the pain inside my ankle has subsided though. My knee only gives me fits when I hyperextend it, so I am watching how I am walking.

I go back to the doctor next week. Cross my fingers that she gives me the OK to start running again!

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Running


Picture this…

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Running